Pathfinder conversion community project request

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Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:18 am

Can we get a Pathfinder conversion project going for Spelljammer? If we do, I think most of the ship stuff is going to be done for us by Clockwork Gnomes Sailing the Starlit Sea. I would think it would be good for working on conversions of people, places & critters. There exist City rules in the GameMastery Guide for some of this, as demonstrated by DungeonMasterLoki's stats for the Rock of Bral.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Big Mac » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:30 pm

xorial wrote:Can we get a Pathfinder conversion project going for Spelljammer? If we do, I think most of the ship stuff is going to be done for us by Clockwork Gnomes Sailing the Starlit Sea. I would think it would be good for working on conversions of people, places & critters. There exist City rules in the GameMastery Guide for some of this, as demonstrated by DungeonMasterLoki's stats for the Rock of Bral.


What is it you are after? Are you after getting some Pathfinder threads going there or are you after a new conversion forum?

If you want a new forum, I'd be happy to move this thread to the Kippin Griffon (where forum business goes).

If you are after mustering support for a Pathfinder conversion then I'm not sure if here is the best place or if the main SJ forum is the best place.

Either way, I would repeat my advice on Facebook, that you start making Pathfinder conversion threads now. There is no need to wait for a decision from Ashtagon. If she says yes, I'll be happy to set up a Spelljammer Pathfinder Conversion Project forum and move any Pathfinder threads over to it.

Good luck.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Big Mac » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:03 pm

Having spoken to Dale on Facebook, this thread is a "call to arms". So I'll put on my moderator hat and move it to the main forum (and leave a shadow topic here). Then I'll take off my moderator hat and say: "Who is up for it?"
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby DungeonMasterLoki » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:16 am

I've got a ton of stuff coming into it's final format for the BTM pdf. Will try to repost a good bit here. Conferred with Dave earlier and we will tossing a bunch of stuf out there in the fairly near future.

I'm probably 80% of the way done with my conversion, just wont hwve time to post until after this weekend. Got Open Design deadlines this week and leaving town for the weekend. Let me know if we get our own section and I'll stat individual threads up with the stuff I've got already together.

*YAWN* Off to bead for me!
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:38 pm

I guess I will need to get more involved here if I get this going. :ugeek: :roll:
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Davane » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:22 pm

I'd love to help, except I know next to nothing about Spelljammer. I guess you can call me a fresh eye on things - but that could be good for marrying the many different perspectives people have.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Angel Tarragon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:48 pm

If I wasn't up to my eyeballs in developing Sarûnia I'd gladly help.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Havard » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:13 pm

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:If I wasn't up to my eyeballs in developing Sarûnia I'd gladly help.


Oh come on TAD, you can do it! :)

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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:52 am

Okay, after some quick figuring using the Timeline for Spelljammer at BTM, I have determined the campaign year if equated to the start of 4e on the Forgotten Realms.

SJ 5162 = DL 477 AC (93 SC) = GH 700 CY = FR 1480 DR

This puts SJ at 50 years after the Krynn gods located Krynn, 125 years after the Gray Hawk Wars (if I remember right), and in line with the present campaign year for the Forgotten Realms. Assuming we need to pick a logical start date for any conversion, where would be the best point. No matter what, I am meaning to put at least a couple of points out that determine the tone of this decision. I do not want to violate any setting's cannon; and, I feel it needs to be at least 10 years after the endo of the Second Unhuman Wars. I want to maintain cannon, because it can have an effect on the Spelljammer campaign. Maintained with the 4e FR, you could have Krynnish expatriates questing to find Krynn among uncharted Spheres. In between, we may need to determine the effects of magic in Realmspace. There may be refugees from any sphere because of wars & such. The cannon of each setting of the Radiant Triangle should not be ignored just suit anybody's disappointment at changes made to a setting. Besides, if a 4e conversion is done, it should be set to work with FR being 1480 DR. I would like the timeline to match that.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Jaid » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:08 am

why would we bother "converting" to a specific date? seems like a terrible idea to me. we'd be much much much better off simply converting the mechanics (which actually require conversion), and leave the fluff (which doesn't require conversion) such as what date the game is set in up to the DM.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Davane » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:28 pm

Jaid wrote:why would we bother "converting" to a specific date? seems like a terrible idea to me. we'd be much much much better off simply converting the mechanics (which actually require conversion), and leave the fluff (which doesn't require conversion) such as what date the game is set in up to the DM.


The answer is simple - mechanics is EASY. It's the work required to convert the fluff in a consistent manner that takes a lot of research and hard graft. It's always enticing to say why don't we just do the mechanics and leave the fluff to the GM, but the truth is that the GM doesn't want to have to go through all that work just to run a single campaign. It's inefficient to force GMs to go through this process every time they want to run a campaign. The idea is to make the GM's life easier to provide the answers for them, so that the GM is free to choose what parts they wish to change, and leave the rest as it is. Ignoring the fluff is the wrong way to go here and leaving it to the GMs is the wrong way to go here, because the GMs will basically ask for the fluff and consider this project unfinished until it arrives.

xorial wrote:Okay, after some quick figuring using the Timeline for Spelljammer at BTM, I have determined the campaign year if equated to the start of 4e on the Forgotten Realms.

SJ 5162 = DL 477 AC (93 SC) = GH 700 CY = FR 1480 DR

This puts SJ at 50 years after the Krynn gods located Krynn, 125 years after the Gray Hawk Wars (if I remember right), and in line with the present campaign year for the Forgotten Realms. Assuming we need to pick a logical start date for any conversion, where would be the best point. No matter what, I am meaning to put at least a couple of points out that determine the tone of this decision. I do not want to violate any setting's cannon; and, I feel it needs to be at least 10 years after the endo of the Second Unhuman Wars. I want to maintain cannon, because it can have an effect on the Spelljammer campaign. Maintained with the 4e FR, you could have Krynnish expatriates questing to find Krynn among uncharted Spheres. In between, we may need to determine the effects of magic in Realmspace. There may be refugees from any sphere because of wars & such. The cannon of each setting of the Radiant Triangle should not be ignored just suit anybody's disappointment at changes made to a setting. Besides, if a 4e conversion is done, it should be set to work with FR being 1480 DR. I would like the timeline to match that.


I don't see anything wrong with this, but I wonder if it would be wise to leave some space between the current SJ year and the current FR year in 4e. I would suggest giving a breather of five or ten years, possibly even as much as twenty five years if necessary, to allow whatever events are happening in FR to settle down, and to allow for the fact that FR is still a setting in publication. This time also gives the GM plenty of wiggle room for their own material.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Big Mac » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:17 pm

DungeonMasterLoki wrote:I've got a ton of stuff coming into it's final format for the BTM pdf. Will try to repost a good bit here. Conferred with Dave earlier and we will tossing a bunch of stuf out there in the fairly near future.

I'm probably 80% of the way done with my conversion, just wont hwve time to post until after this weekend. Got Open Design deadlines this week and leaving town for the weekend. Let me know if we get our own section and I'll stat individual threads up with the stuff I've got already together.

*YAWN* Off to bead for me!


Nice to know that. You are far more ahead than I am. Wish I had been more in touch with you. (I wish I had been more in touch with Static too.)

xorial wrote:I guess I will need to get more involved here if I get this going. :ugeek: :roll:


Yep. There is no reason not to start doing this now.

Davane wrote:I'd love to help, except I know next to nothing about Spelljammer. I guess you can call me a fresh eye on things - but that could be good for marrying the many different perspectives people have.


Sometimes someone who knows less asks the seemingly obvious question that fixes something the more involved people have overlooked. Another pair of eyes is always good.

(In any case, we are all here to learn more about Spelljammer.)

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:If I wasn't up to my eyeballs in developing Sarûnia I'd gladly help.


Maybe your schedule will open up later or maybe you can help with something less involved (like proofreading or playtesting).

Havard wrote:
Twin Agate Dragons wrote:If I wasn't up to my eyeballs in developing Sarûnia I'd gladly help.


Oh come on TAD, you can do it! :)


Sarûnia needs to get finished too...

...otherwise we will never get Sarûniaspace! :P

xorial wrote:Okay, after some quick figuring using the Timeline for Spelljammer at BTM, I have determined the campaign year if equated to the start of 4e on the Forgotten Realms.

SJ 5162 = DL 477 AC (93 SC) = GH 700 CY = FR 1480 DR

This puts SJ at 50 years after the Krynn gods located Krynn, 125 years after the Gray Hawk Wars (if I remember right), and in line with the present campaign year for the Forgotten Realms. Assuming we need to pick a logical start date for any conversion, where would be the best point. No matter what, I am meaning to put at least a couple of points out that determine the tone of this decision. I do not want to violate any setting's cannon; and, I feel it needs to be at least 10 years after the endo of the Second Unhuman Wars. I want to maintain cannon, because it can have an effect on the Spelljammer campaign. Maintained with the 4e FR, you could have Krynnish expatriates questing to find Krynn among uncharted Spheres. In between, we may need to determine the effects of magic in Realmspace. There may be refugees from any sphere because of wars & such. The cannon of each setting of the Radiant Triangle should not be ignored just suit anybody's disappointment at changes made to a setting. Besides, if a 4e conversion is done, it should be set to work with FR being 1480 DR. I would like the timeline to match that.


That is a bit too late for my liking. You wouldn't be able to use most of the original SJ modules if you jumped that far ahead.

But, there is no reason why several slots on the timeline (including the original one) could not be developed.

Jaid wrote:why would we bother "converting" to a specific date? seems like a terrible idea to me. we'd be much much much better off simply converting the mechanics (which actually require conversion), and leave the fluff (which doesn't require conversion) such as what date the game is set in up to the DM.


It all depends on if you want to make a set of rules or move on from Paul Westermeyer's timeline research and have the same sort of detail for the "current day" that every other campaign setting except Spelljammer seems to have by default.

Personally, I don't think I would move the timeline forward too much, as that would involve a lot of work (as every crystal sphere would need future history to be extrapolated).

Davane wrote:
Jaid wrote:why would we bother "converting" to a specific date? seems like a terrible idea to me. we'd be much much much better off simply converting the mechanics (which actually require conversion), and leave the fluff (which doesn't require conversion) such as what date the game is set in up to the DM.


The answer is simple - mechanics is EASY. It's the work required to convert the fluff in a consistent manner that takes a lot of research and hard graft. It's always enticing to say why don't we just do the mechanics and leave the fluff to the GM, but the truth is that the GM doesn't want to have to go through all that work just to run a single campaign. It's inefficient to force GMs to go through this process every time they want to run a campaign. The idea is to make the GM's life easier to provide the answers for them, so that the GM is free to choose what parts they wish to change, and leave the rest as it is. Ignoring the fluff is the wrong way to go here and leaving it to the GMs is the wrong way to go here, because the GMs will basically ask for the fluff and consider this project unfinished until it arrives.


If you look at Paul Wetermeyer's research you will see that just documenting the existing timeline is a major chore. Getting a lot of these research jobs nailed would lift the load on the GM and allow them to design new stuff instead of read old stuff searching for obscure details.

Davane wrote:
xorial wrote:Okay, after some quick figuring using the Timeline for Spelljammer at BTM, I have determined the campaign year if equated to the start of 4e on the Forgotten Realms.

SJ 5162 = DL 477 AC (93 SC) = GH 700 CY = FR 1480 DR

This puts SJ at 50 years after the Krynn gods located Krynn, 125 years after the Gray Hawk Wars (if I remember right), and in line with the present campaign year for the Forgotten Realms. Assuming we need to pick a logical start date for any conversion, where would be the best point. No matter what, I am meaning to put at least a couple of points out that determine the tone of this decision. I do not want to violate any setting's cannon; and, I feel it needs to be at least 10 years after the endo of the Second Unhuman Wars. I want to maintain cannon, because it can have an effect on the Spelljammer campaign. Maintained with the 4e FR, you could have Krynnish expatriates questing to find Krynn among uncharted Spheres. In between, we may need to determine the effects of magic in Realmspace. There may be refugees from any sphere because of wars & such. The cannon of each setting of the Radiant Triangle should not be ignored just suit anybody's disappointment at changes made to a setting. Besides, if a 4e conversion is done, it should be set to work with FR being 1480 DR. I would like the timeline to match that.


I don't see anything wrong with this, but I wonder if it would be wise to leave some space between the current SJ year and the current FR year in 4e. I would suggest giving a breather of five or ten years, possibly even as much as twenty five years if necessary, to allow whatever events are happening in FR to settle down, and to allow for the fact that FR is still a setting in publication. This time also gives the GM plenty of wiggle room for their own material.


To be honest, I wouldn't want to touch the 4e era with a ten foot pole until we find out what WotC is going to do with Dragonlance and Greyhawk.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:06 pm

This is why I started this, lol.

I can see reasons to jump to 4e era, and I see reasons for other times. The main thing is for a baseline, we need to establish a time. I lean heavily to 10-20 years after the Second Unhuman War. It leaves the history of the other setting as potential material for a GM. It also is about how long it has been since material has been produced for Spelljammer, at least officially.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Big Mac » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:28 pm

xorial wrote:This is why I started this, lol.

I can see reasons to jump to 4e era, and I see reasons for other times. The main thing is for a baseline, we need to establish a time. I lean heavily to 10-20 years after the Second Unhuman War. It leaves the history of the other setting as potential material for a GM. It also is about how long it has been since material has been produced for Spelljammer, at least officially.


If we actually establish what is happening in the 2e era, we can work out where we are. Paul W. has done most of the work.

I would personally be happy to move forward a little bit as Teldin Moore would then remove Creannon from the SJ multiverse and we could get a new Spelljammer that doesn't have the Hotel California effect. SJ needs some stuff suited to epic level play and a new ship could take the PCs from the Known Spheres to a region that is normally virtually unreachable (like Shardspace).

But I think it may also be worth having a retro-First Unhuman War era (for Arcane Age style gaming with some of the ship hull types removed from play) or a pre-Second Unhuman War era to allow people to play through the classic adventure modules. (I've even been thinking of starting SJA1 on the planet Spiral in Paul Westermeyer's Bralspace and find a way to link all the SJA modules up into a long connected saga campaign that takes people from AD&D Adventures in Space to the Second Unhuman War.)
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:44 pm

Big Mac wrote:
xorial wrote:This is why I started this, lol.

I can see reasons to jump to 4e era, and I see reasons for other times. The main thing is for a baseline, we need to establish a time. I lean heavily to 10-20 years after the Second Unhuman War. It leaves the history of the other setting as potential material for a GM. It also is about how long it has been since material has been produced for Spelljammer, at least officially.


If we actually establish what is happening in the 2e era, we can work out where we are. Paul W. has done most of the work.

I would personally be happy to move forward a little bit as Teldin Moore would then remove Creannon from the SJ multiverse and we could get a new Spelljammer that doesn't have the Hotel California effect. SJ needs some stuff suited to epic level play and a new ship could take the PCs from the Known Spheres to a region that is normally virtually unreachable (like Shardspace).

But I think it may also be worth having a retro-First Unhuman War era (for Arcane Age style gaming with some of the ship hull types removed from play) or a pre-Second Unhuman War era to allow people to play through the classic adventure modules. (I've even been thinking of starting SJA1 on the planet Spiral in Paul Westermeyer's Bralspace and find a way to link all the SJA modules up into a long connected saga campaign that takes people from AD&D Adventures in Space to the Second Unhuman War.)

That is all fine & good, but you can not do it all at once. You have to pick a place to start. After, you can give guides for running SJ in the "Classic Era". That timeline already establishes what has happened. Even so, there is nothing preventing anybody from running any of those adventures during any era. I say the best place to start is to assume that all printed material has occurred, then place the "Modern Era" 20 years after the ending of the SUW. I say the reasons that there hasn't been a "complete" conversion for any system is all of this back & forth over little things. You can't have it all at once, so we have to pick somewhere & start there.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Davane » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:47 pm

Let's not get sidetracked with the details of actual spheres for now - the best approach may be to use a plug and play approach with the spheres, based on bringing them up to a stated point after the core work of the project is done. This will give everyone time to see how things develop, and other conversion projects time to catch up. Spelljammer is very good as a meta-campaign, and it makes sense to tap into the wealth of information that these other campaign worlds provide, but allowing some measure of being able to pick and choose which spheres you have in your spelljammer campaigns may be just enough to provide the kind of versatility to satisfy the diverse needs of the many people wanting to contribute to this project.

I'd strongly suggest making a default standalone core sphere(s) for the conversion separate from everything else, to create a Spelljammer-esque setting to begin with. it should be something that feels like Spelljammer without actually needing anything specific from any other sphere - somewhere where the migrants, escapes, and other elements might have gone to to, and possibly a good candidate for the New Rock of Bral. Then having established that, you can work on individual spheres and canon, bringing them into the conversion, so that they can easily be removed if the GM doesn't wish to use them.

Arguing over canon at this point will stall the project before it starts - everyone should focus on what they all want to do, not on what they don't want to do, and once that is done, then work on the extra bits at their own leisure.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Jaid » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:33 pm

ok, i'm still not clear here... what exactly needs to be done to convert the fluff? it's setting. you don't need to convert the setting, you just need to convert the rules of the setting so that people can use them to play in the setting. from my perspective, there is no need to "convert" the setting to a specific time; that's not a conversion.

so what exactly is this effort to convert the non-rule portions? what is there that needs converting?
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:49 pm

Jaid wrote:ok, i'm still not clear here... what exactly needs to be done to convert the fluff? it's setting. you don't need to convert the setting, you just need to convert the rules of the setting so that people can use them to play in the setting. from my perspective, there is no need to "convert" the setting to a specific time; that's not a conversion.

so what exactly is this effort to convert the non-rule portions? what is there that needs converting?

There is a need to establish a timeline for where we are starting. Second, there is a need to post the stat conversions for all the pertinent NPCs and creatures. Third, there is the need to convert magic items to the rules standards of Pathfinder.

Most of those will allow you to play in any Era. Converting rules does have a tendency to change the feel of any old edition setting, whether intentional or not. For example: In 1e & 2e, there is a big racial divide on interaction between humaniods. In 3e & beyond, this is lessened somewhat. Orcs are not always the bad guys. Things become a little more cosmopolitan. Also, what races practice a give profession/class is VERY different in 3e & beyond. You can do all you want on the fly, if it fits your game. We want a conversion for this project.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Davane » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:14 pm

Jaid wrote:ok, i'm still not clear here... what exactly needs to be done to convert the fluff? it's setting. you don't need to convert the setting, you just need to convert the rules of the setting so that people can use them to play in the setting. from my perspective, there is no need to "convert" the setting to a specific time; that's not a conversion.

so what exactly is this effort to convert the non-rule portions? what is there that needs converting?


Conversion is not the correct term - it's more a case of checking the various sources, and collating them into a single reference point, and then updating them so that they are consistent with each other. Then these references can be used to designed the mechanics were relevant.

It's easy to miss the purpose of fluff if you consider that it is just fluff, but fluff gives the meaning to much of the game, and provides the contest in which the rules exist. Fluff is what gives the players, and thus the characters, the logic with they can deduce how the world works and the reasons and motivations they need to make the game happen. The fluff is what makes it a roleplaying game, rather than a tactical miniatures game, and what makes the setting of Spelljammer different from any other "fantasy in space" type setting. It's the difference between Spelljammer and Spelljammer-esque.

You are right, however, this is not conversion. But it IS a big part of the project, because it is a big part of consolidating that information into one place for reference. Some of that information already exists in one place, but a lot of it needs updating, and it is helpful to GMs to do that updating for them, rather than to expect them to update the work every time they want to run a Spelljammer campaign.

xorial wrote:There is a need to establish a timeline for where we are starting. Second, there is a need to post the stat conversions for all the pertinent NPCs and creatures. Third, there is the need to convert magic items to the rules standards of Pathfinder.

Most of those will allow you to play in any Era. Converting rules does have a tendency to change the feel of any old edition setting, whether intentional or not. For example: In 1e & 2e, there is a big racial divide on interaction between humaniods. In 3e & beyond, this is lessened somewhat. Orcs are not always the bad guys. Things become a little more cosmopolitan. Also, what races practice a give profession/class is VERY different in 3e & beyond. You can do all you want on the fly, if it fits your game. We want a conversion for this project.


The timeline is fluff - it's important to establish this, if only to provide a foundation for those GMs who don't want to deviate from a timeline. Ultimately, in the project, we are looking to provide the answers so that the GM doesn't have to, on the basis that the GM can, and will, change whatever they want for their game. Ultimately, instead of asking why should we do something, we need to ask why shouldn't we do something - but we do need to prioritise what we do, otherwise the project will never, ever be completed.

Stat conversions for NPCs, creatures, classes, skills, races, items, feats, spells, and so on - practically every aspect of d20, D&D, and Pathfinder will need to be looked at, checked, and adjusted to make sure that that it complies for the mechanical conversion(s). You are looking at both the large details, and the small details - the in depth stuff, and the small depth stuff, and will need people that know everything about the system at every step. Changes have to be consistent, and checked consistently, because even a simple thematic change at one point can affect how things work in other aspects of the system, because d20 is ultimately a unified system.

In my experience as lead of the Legend of Zelda Roleplaying Game, the biggest flaw was trying to explain to the members who saw that project as a hobby was trying to explain the need of various elements, and trying to get people to work together to do various things that needed to be done, because they were too busy asking why should they do something, rather than why shouldn't they? They focused on what they found fun, and ignored the rest, and only on what they wanted to do, and ended up with a mish-mash of ideas that while good, never ever ended up fully complete even after 10 years, even as the mythos continued to evolve as the franchise moved on.

Ultimately, the mechanics were tight for Zelda, and the concept (if not what was actually written down) for the setting was pretty damn good too. I've done this before. I can do this again. I don't even need to know anything about Spelljammer - most leaders don't need to know anything about the people they lead, that's why they have experts. They leave the experts to be experts, and concentrate on the organization and leading. You do your jobs, I'll put it together. Let's make this work!
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:02 pm

@Davane: Personally, I wouldn't want you participating then. I don't think you could do it. We want people that either know the setting, or want to learn the setting.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Davane » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:45 pm

xorial wrote:@Davane: Personally, I wouldn't want you participating then. I don't think you could do it. We want people that either know the setting, or want to learn the setting.


There is a difference between knowing something, learning something, and being an expert in it. A true leader knows when to defer to the expertise of others. Thus, it wouldn't be necessary for me to actually know or learn anything about the setting, because no matter what I learn, it will never beat the expertise that the other members of the team provide. I could never beat David or your own knowledge of the setting, for example. Understanding helps, but isn't required - just as you aren't required to have all the experience and expertise that I have.

You don't think I can do it? The fact is, xorial, I already have done it - the Legend of Zelda Roleplaying Game, remember. I wasn't the expert of that setting, but was still the lead of that project, and the one who made it real, and resulted in getting the sourcebook out the door. I was the one that put together the forums and handled the teams. I did it. Alas, I had to deal with people who were doing this for a hobby, and were basically using their free time after school and college, with an average age of 17 (and that was because two of the core members, myself and Ouro, were mid-twenties throughout the project). We had a high turnover rate of people who didn't appreciate that a project like this takes dedication and hard work. You don't think I can do it? Then there is D-Jumpers and DVOID Systems - which I established myself. What have you done?

I may struggle to produce content because of my illness - something which most people take for granted and is really undermining my efforts right now. Most people find it easy to produce content, but remove that basic element, and then you will find out how tough life really is. Remove the things that everyone takes for granted - the first few easy steps - and then see where life gets you. Most people in my peer group have made it because they have abilities and if necessary, have the assistance they need to do what they do, rather than have to fight for everything every damn step of the way. I lead because I can fight, and if necessary I will fight, and that gives me the drive, the conviction, and the courage to get people to do things that need to be done, and to take responsibility for them. You want to do this, then do this. But I'm the sort of person that will knock your heads together and get you all facing in the right direction to get this done. That is not to say that I will knock your heads together if I don't have to - pointing and telling, even asking what direction you all want to go in, and other means all work quite fine. It's about doing what it takes to get things done and taking responsibility. That's what leadership is about, and when it comes down to any sort of project, that is generally where my strengths lie.

Sorry for the diversion there, but I do have expertise in actually handling a 3e conversion, and more importantly, handling the 3e conversion from a non-RPG source, so it actually involved a lot more work than a conversion from an existing RPG source would. The Legend of Zelda Roleplaying Game required understanding the differences between video games gameplay of various types, the d20 system, and canon, including what have been considered the virtually impossible tasks of consolidating the Legend of Zelda mythos both geographically and chronologically into a consistent setting when these foundations do not exist in any significant format outside the individual framework of the games themselves. So, I don't know Spelljammer - I don't have to. The work is done for me. Jeff Grubb and other did it for me. I already know way more than that. Because I've tackled stuff that makes that task childs play. You want to make this work, for 3e and further, then you are going to end up with a consistent Planejammer campaign by all logic that will work, and that's going to take someone who isn't constrained by the setting, but someone who can see beyond that into how settings are made up and why, and knows how they are made up from scratch.

In short, you may not think I can do it because I don't know the setting, but I know I can do it because I have done it before with something that makes what you're attempting here seem like a walk in the park by comparison. You are some of the best experts on these settings, so I do not have to be. That's your strength. My task is to use your strengths to the best advantage with my own, so that we become greater than the sum of our parts and make this conversion the best that it can be. I have done that before - I can do that again.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:06 pm

@Davane: A knowledge of Spelljammer is needed for what I have in mind. I have a method to what I want from starting this project.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Davane » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:22 pm

xorial wrote:@Davane: A knowledge of Spelljammer is needed for what I have in mind. I have a method to what I want from starting this project.


And what is it that you want from starting this project?

Bear in mind that Big Mac has already welcomed me and said that a fresh pair of eyes is a welcome perspective, yet you are discounting me because of my lack of knowledge. Just one of the impending schisms that look likely to doom any such project, and look like they have been doing so for quite some time.

That's why it might be best to look at what everyone wants to do, look at that common starting point, and get a core set done, and then build upon that, rather then spend time arguing about specifics which aren't exactly relevant at this point. The details are only important when you've dot the the point of fine tuning, when you don't even have the foundation, the fine details aren't worth arguing over at this point.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby xorial » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:02 pm

I'm sure he did. I don't want this to fall into the back & forth of details that involve maintaining 2e standards. I don't want to waste time trying to figure out things that have already been done. Let me say it this way. If I don't like what starts to happen I will likely loose interest in this really fast. That is why I don't participate in the 3e conversions. Too out of focus.

Rules: There are now rules for airship combat in Pathfinder. There will be rules for space travel from Clockwork Gnome. The conversions need to address the tangibles. magic items, creatures, and NPCs. NPCs are dependent on how old they are, therefore a start time needs to be set. We pick a time & start there. Sub committees can handle writing different ERA books. If you want to stick with using written material for Spelljammer, then you might as well reboot the setting. I wouldn't mid that, as long as we tweak the setting to reflect that Pathfinder is different. Dwarven Citadels become stationary asteroid stations. Dwarves can be mages, so let them. Make the Rock more cosmopolitan, more like Sharn from Ebberron. Orcs, goblins, illithids, gith, everybody & anybody might meet you in the street.
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Re: Pathfinder conversion community project request

Postby Davane » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:54 pm

xorial wrote:I'm sure he did. I don't want this to fall into the back & forth of details that involve maintaining 2e standards. I don't want to waste time trying to figure out things that have already been done. Let me say it this way. If I don't like what starts to happen I will likely loose interest in this really fast. That is why I don't participate in the 3e conversions. Too out of focus.

Rules: There are now rules for airship combat in Pathfinder. There will be rules for space travel from Clockwork Gnome. The conversions need to address the tangibles. magic items, creatures, and NPCs. NPCs are dependent on how old they are, therefore a start time needs to be set. We pick a time & start there. Sub committees can handle writing different ERA books. If you want to stick with using written material for Spelljammer, then you might as well reboot the setting. I wouldn't mid that, as long as we tweak the setting to reflect that Pathfinder is different. Dwarven Citadels become stationary asteroid stations. Dwarves can be mages, so let them. Make the Rock more cosmopolitan, more like Sharn from Ebberron. Orcs, goblins, illithids, gith, everybody & anybody might meet you in the street.


I understand that, and that is where a lack of Spelljammer knowledge comes in handy, don't you think. By not having any ties to AD&D 2e, I don't have any bias towards maintaining 2e standards for the sake of 2e standards. I will naturally be more inclined to look towards providing d20 solutions where possible for things, based on my extensive knowledge of the d20 system. While I am aware of the thematic concerns of AD&D 2e, what we are looking for from there is the setting, not the rules, so unless there are very convincing reasons why we should change anything in d20 to suit AD&D 2e conventions, d20 should overrule them.

I still strongly believe that it is easier to make conversion for all systems at the same time - 3e/3.5/Pathfinder/4th Edition. It may be a little extra work, but the only real differences are a few specific changes in the systems and a few ways in which things are presented. I know classes, powers, and items are different between 4th Edition and 3.x/Pathfinder but this isn't really all that much to take into account either when looking at the bigger picture.

Setting wise, the best approach is to pick a point at the end of the current timeline and choose a location away from everything else, and then ignore canon until you have foundation set, so you can focus on a Spelljammer-esque game. This is because canon is likely to cause a lot of arguments, and many GMs will simply ignore the canon anyway. We want to provide a focus to get the feel and the enthusiasm and theme of Spelljammer out there right away, without going into the details. Give GMs what they need to create their own worlds and campaigns.

Once this is done, then you can focus on different spheres and eras, and work on the canon and bring the rest of the material in. You can work out how the common D&D settings and others relate to the larger meta-campaign, and answer those questions that you know the GM will inevitably ask. The idea at this point is to be inclusive rather than exclusive, and look at ways to preserve rather than remove options. The GMs can always change things, remove things, and do whatever they want to customise the setting as they decide, but in general we want the GM to get into the mindset of being able to answer each possible question with yes, and then direct them to relevant source of information to build on such ideas. The GM should never shoot down a potential adventure idea, when given a multiverse of limitless possibilities.

I understand that you might get bored going over what already exists. People will. But that's the advantage of having a great team of people dedicated to such a project capable of researching information like this. If material already exists, we should very quickly be able to find it, assess it, and assimilate it into the project. We should take active steps to reach out to other groups working on such projects and work with them where possible to create the best conversion project possible. Because if there was an existing 3e Spelljammer conversion project already, Big Mac would have found it and would have joy-gasmed it all over these forums by now.

[Edit: To clarify, I am talking about other external non-Piazza 3e SJ projects. I am assuming that once we've decided what we are doing, there will be a short period where we will assimilate the threads that have already been done. This is a good reason why doing the mechanics for all the systems at once comes in handy, because we can consolidate the SJ conversion forms, and perhaps get the people working on those projects under an official Piazza conversion project, which may be a more efficient approach.]

How about the others share what they want from this project and we'll look at the best place to begin?
Last edited by Davane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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